Magazine article HRMagazine

Dealing with Toxic Employees

Magazine article HRMagazine

Dealing with Toxic Employees

Article excerpt

It's the guy in the office who slams file cabinet drawers when he's ticked off. Or the woman who rolls her eyes when someone offers an idea at a meeting. Or the person who's always spreading gossip and mistrust.

They're toxic employees, and they can make their co-workers not only unhappy but also less productive. Here's how experts say HR should handle such poisonous people:

Set the company standard for unacceptable behavior early, and in writing. If management doesn't identify toxic behavior clearly, it will not only infiltrate a workplace, it may spread, said Sue Paterson, co-author of The Fear-Free Organization: Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture (Kogan Page, 2015). "It's like having a virus in the organization," she said.

Have a manager or HR representative meet with the employee. Describe the bad behavior to the employee, with examples. Then explain how it's affecting fellow workers and set up a plan to address it. …

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